ROCK PALS: John Varvatos conducted a conversation with Paul Weller, one of his all-time music idols, in the basement of his Mayfair flagship with its wall of guitars, black ceiling and speakeasy vibe. It’s inspired by Varvatos’ New York boutique, formerly CBGBs, the birthplace of the American punk rock movement.
The Thursday event celebrated both their friendship and Weller’s recently published book, “Into Tomorrow,” which features unseen shots by photographer Lawrence Watson. “I’ve been a huge fan of Paul’s since The Jam and followed him both musically but have also been intrigued by his style over the last 35 years,” Varvatos said. “It’s had a big influence on me.”
Varvatos proceeded to take Weller on a trip down memory lane through various incarnations of the musician’s looks and fashions as documented in the new tome. The singer described his discovery of Mod style as a “religious awakening” recalling how he and his then band, The Jam, all trooped off to Burton (the high street men’s wear label now owned by Topshop kingpin, Sir Philip Green) to get their suits made. “They lasted a number of years until they shrunk,” he chuckled.
The two met in 2012 when Varvatos cast Weller and fellow musician Miles Kane for an advertising campaign. “We hit it off as we’re both passionate about music and style,” said Varvatos. Weller, for his part, has his own fashion line and for a limited time, his Real Stars Are Rare T-shirt line is being sold at a mini pop-up shop at John Varvatos London alongside his book and vinyl box set of current album, “Saturns Pattern.”
Weller was upfront about his controversial haircut. “I can’t think of any excuses for my barnet and can only apologize,” he demurred.